Trips to the salon are usually uneventful. The visits are used as “me” time. Pause to do some self-care. The quiet time alone provides space to think, reflect and regenerate. Honestly, engaging in social conversations are not part of the ritual.
The last appointment was a bit different. I met an older woman who sparked conversation. Petite, mild-mannered, soft spoken and senior gray-haired lady. She admired a ring I was wearing. No hesitation in sight, she asked if I was married? Her question struck a dialogue where she shared a few great thoughts about relationships. Twice divorced myself, I’m always curious to hear how couples maintain their staying power, lasting decades together.
Like most, I got married with the idea it would be “Til death do us part.” Ten years later, we laid the marriage to rest. Marriage and relationships as a whole are never total bliss all the time. It’s a fallacy that we sometimes buy into if we’re not careful.
This woman and I talked for about an hour. It was wonderful to hear about a 57-year marriage. When I asked, “How did they made it work all these years?” She jokingly, responded “I don’t know!” giggling. She added that all relationships take work. The idea of happily ever after isn’t realistic, neither is the perception that any partner can be perfect. Mistakes are made which leads to moments of frustration. The disenchantment that comes with understanding everyone is human (flawed) isn’t pretty. It’s a difficult reality to accept. Disagreements are inevitable but you have to learn to talk through them. Be kind, considerate and respectful of one another. If you can keep these things at the forefront it will be extremely useful in any relationship over time. The love is in the work as you mold a strong foundation to draw from when things get tough. Challenges will show its face in all relationships. The ugly truth is that it will get hard at times but we should fight for love when it’s worthwhile.
The conversation was brief but impactful. It initiated an internal inquiry of my own relationships past and present. My younger self romanticized love. I believed, I’d fall for a wonderful guy who would help me create the perfect relationship. “The End.”
Today, I’m more realistic with relationship goals. I think when you find value in the things you cannot see or touch in our partners, we start appreciating them in a different way. It’s not about how handsome, wealthy or a great lover he might be. Question becomes, is he intelligent, driven, respectful and does the chemistry boost the compatibility factor? Is he mindful of the nice things I do? Do we take each other for granted or show gratitude? Does he accept and love me for exactly who I am.
It’s essential to set a solid base for the relationship. Being considerate and caring goes a long way. Talking and supporting each other as you grow into the people you are meant to be has to exist. All these things strengthens the bond you have helping create ties that slowly bind the love that ties you together.
I’m in a relationship of 5 years and still learning. All relationships take work but can be fruitful. Be mindful, it’s important to take care of the relationship we’re in with ourselves, as well as, the one with a partner.
Recipe to save for days you need a reminder of how to care for a beautiful and deserving love?
Patience +Communication + Trust -and Respect. Love sprinkled with bit of humor.
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